It’s a fact. I’m addicted to it. I can’t start a day without coffee and I usually have it a couple more times each day. When I first visited Phnom Penh last 2004, I was fretting and thinking that maybe I’ll be on a coffee-diet. Lol! I was really really wrong! I discovered that Cambodians are more than passionate about their morning cup. In fact, they have coffee anytime of the the day!
A few doors down my mother-in-laws house in Toul Tompoung area, there is a Khmer restaurant (corner resto St. 432 and 163) serving espressos and iced coffees at a fraction of the price of famous coffee houses. And the taste? Whew! One of the best brews I’ve ever had. Not only that, I was amazed to find out that most of these local cafe’s roast their own local beans so you get freshly roasted coffee which, believe me has the best taste. Khmers prefer their beans roasted really black and adds a little fat or butter making the taste a lot richer. They would usually roast their beans every other day around 2-3 pm and just the aroma is heavenly!
So, though I still frequent nice cafes around Phnom Penh (I do enjoy their plush seats, free wifi, pastries..) but every so often you can find me sampling coffee from these small restaurants found all over Phnom Penh. These shops mostly speak very little English so come prepared and have this memorized (lol! I even have a small note always with me with Khmer translation of this just in case..)
- hot black coffee – caa-fei kh’mav (khdow -hot)
- coffee – caa-fei
- iced coffee – caa-fei teuk koh
- ice coffee milk – caa-fei teuk koh tuk duh koh
Khmer coffee is usually served hot – black or with milk / iced – black or with milk. There’s also a place inside Russian Market (Tuol Tompoung Market) serving what they claim to be the Best Iced Coffee in Phnom Penh. It does taste really good, and since there are a lot of tourists in the market they can speak English, so ordering a glass of iced coffee is a breeze.
It’s located right in the food hall, just look for the sign..
And to tempt those iced coffee lovers..
I’ve already shared this passion for Khmer coffee to some of my friends and also my sister. Ouwie is now also a certified Khmer coffee addict. Lol ! I can still remembered when she first tried it, she found it so good, she had too many glasses and found herself unable to sleep . So, though its tastes really good, just have it in moderation 😉
Happy coffee drinking!